Tuesday, July 21, 2015

God Won't Be Blessing This America

It's really sick that I even have to write these words.

God won't be blessing this America.

We can sing it every seventh inning until the Lord returns, but it's just a nice sounding chorus at this point. Yea, we just celebrated another 4th of July a few weeks ago, but take a look at what's going on around us.

Sex changes given courage awards. Homosexuality celebrated by the Courts and the White House. Islam being embraced by our leaders. Christians being targeted left and right.

And now babies arms, legs, hearts, and skin being sold - over dinner?! Really?!?! And even more for a fully intact body; meaning it wasn't shredded by the vacuum that in most cases rips the baby a part while it screams in the womb? Yea, lots more for those apparently. So much so that the seller can get her own high dollar sports car one day.

Only God can help us when we kill babies by the millions and then turn even more profits by selling them in bags. Hitler was bad, but this is much, much worse.

This is your America. This is my America. And it's our fault that it has come to this.

For decades weak Christians have stood by the political wayside and watched our nation be torn to shreds by evil, ungodly intentions of progressive liberalism. Many don't even vote, much less care. They live their own little lives claiming they will simply "show others around them love and grace", yet few really do and church goers are dwindling by the millions a year. Fewer are getting saved and American Christians have become less involved and more apathetic to it all.

No, we can't legislate morality or Christianity for that matter, but we certainly can do our part and stand against immortality and anti-Christianity can't we?

Well, we better. Because when God asks each of us what we did with the good thing He entrusted us with called America, it will be us standing there saying..."we didn't care, didn't want to get involved, didn't want to make a stink, didn't want to hurt any feelings and didn't want to deal with it."

Remember the parable of the talents? Don't doubt that applies to all good things He gives us to care for and watch over.

God won't be blessing America until America gets back to being what He set it out to be.

And that means we are on the clock.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance."
Psalm 33:12

 © 2015, J. Brady
"I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."

Brady Speers is a father of four that lives with his wife Julie in the Dallas Metroplex. He is a retirement income planner, an avid part time photographer and writer and loves all things Dallas Cowboys. He and his wife are also passionate supporters of adoption and are in the process of adopting their second son. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Journey, Chocolate Cream Pie and Baseball

"Wheels in the sky keep on turning….” What a great song.

Journey. Gotta love them. I mean…who doesn’t, right? Man were they good too…especially as loud as possible back in the 80s via the power of the 6x9 monster speakers in the back window of the car. I still crank them up here and there…nothing like a 40 something running around with “Rubicon” (B side tune few outside of Shawn Hedger and I know about) blaring out the window of the SUV or minivan. That’s one cool dude right there…pulling into the Walgreens to get some more “Freeze Away” for the plantar wart on the bottom of my foot that’s killing me. I might barely be able to walk right now, but I can jam with the best of them dang it.

Yea, coolness it all its form. Defined. Refined. Still loud and proud.

By the way, that song? It’s circa 1978. Yea. Just a few short of 40 years ago. Let me say that again…nearly 40 years old. Open a box of perspective and put it all in…

Watching my kids play outside the other day got me thinking. Have you ever just stopped what you were doing to watch kids play? I mean putting down the smart phone and really watching them get all into whatever it is they are intently doing. It’s fun. Life with no regard and pure joy. It’s like stepping back in time. To the time when “Wheels” was just hitting the circuit. Old fashioned “play outside” moments. Times I honestly wished I could step back to for just a few minutes. Things as simple as playing Nerf football out in the front yard or just grabbing the ball and glove for  a nice round of catch. I think I still have my glove…just not sure the worn out rotator cuff could handle it.

Get some perspective today from something, somewhere. I know it helps keep me grounded. My kids give me that nearly daily and as I watch them literally leap from toddlerville straight into late childhood which is starting to freak me out. Slow down people. Just slow it all down.

Today I’m going to find the time to lower the windows and crank up some good ol’ Van Halen. If only I could bring back those late 80s lunches at Wyatt’s Cafeteria with my dad while I was at it. Those were some good times and they had some great chocolate cream pie too. Like other things in life, that pie has gone by the wayside and that specific taste is no longer to be found . But dad and me? We’re still alive and kicking with the best of them. Well…thanks to mom and my wife we are anyway. (What would we do without the women in our lives anyway?!)
Sometimes I do feel like I’ve got life by the horns. Wife, kids, a couple of dogs and we got rid of the minivan a few years back. It’s all good.

But I know one day the only horn I’ll have a good grip on is the one I’ll be using to honk at all those fast driving whippersnappers as I’m just trying to get to Krogers and back. Next thing I know I’ll be looking back saying that great song is 60 years old. Whew, it goes fast.  

Either way I’ll still be cranking it - even in the four door Buick I guess we are all supposed to end up driving.

For now, I’m gonna go find me some pie, turn up Chain Reaction on the drive home and throw a ball when I get there. 
"When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember: God gives good times and hard times, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring." Ecclesiastes 7:14

 © 2015, J. Brady
"I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This World Doesn't Need Christmas

Have to admit, there is no doubt the holidays are my favorite six weeks of the year with Christmas being the centerpiece of it all. From Thanksgiving all the way through New Year's Day, it’s a busy, fast paced, memory filled, fun time. Santa, music, lights, plays, movies, time with friends and family, football, gifts, food, a little chill in the air. I love it.

Thank you baby Jesus for making Christmas possible. It’s one cool deal you started.

Every year at this time the world embraces the story of the manager and little baby Jesus by heading out to the malls, getting with Santa, jumping online to shop, putting up lights and all kinds of d├ęcor, and ending it with big family extravaganzas.

The story is told by some that Jesus was born to be the “savior of the world”. Matter of fact, later as an adult he himself said he was the “light of the world”. Really?  If He is the light of the world, then why is it getting darker and darker each and every day?

In just the last few months here have been some of the headline news stories:

- ISIS leader kills more than 150 children
- North Korea threatens the U.S.…again
- Man kills two cops point blank range in a revenge killing
- Racism abounds with the likes of two different stories involving police officers followed by violent protests all over the country
- Radical Islam terrorist attacks occur in Australia and France
- 9 People shot in a drive by shooting in Miami

This time of year might give us a break from reality for a few weeks, but let’s face it -this world is one crazy, cruel place these days. No wonder most people just cast Jesus into this role of the neat little Christmas baby.  He doesn’t seem to be changing anything.

And that’s where the story takes a turn…

See Jesus wasn’t born to give us Christmas and God surely wasn’t thinking about all the lights, Santa, presents, and profitable retail revenue his birth would one day create.

No, he didn’t intend to save the world. He intended to save me. He intended to save you.

This world as we know it is doomed. It isn’t going to get better. People will get meaner, the world will get darker and evil will reign. Headlines will get crazier, scarier and fear will grow in the eyes of many. The Bible itself told us this would all happen thousands of years ago and here we are living right in the middle of it. 

There will be no “peace on earth, good will towards men”….as we know it.

But peace on earth for me and peace on earth for you? Now, that’s the real Christmas story.

Let’s be honest. Life can take a bite out of us sometimes. Peace is hard to come by – financially, socially, relationally, professionally. There is always “something” right? No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to help but take two steps back.

Some say believing in God is just a crutch. Well, unless you’re perfect - never have fears, never stress out, never do anything wrong, never get lonely, or never doubt your purpose – please stop the arrogance. We all need something to help us deal with sadness, death, evil, and tragedy. God knew that when He sent his son into this crazy world. He knew what we needed and gave us the best Christmas present of all and all we have to do is believe to receive it.  

This world doesn’t need Christmas. I do. And so do you.

Thank you baby Jesus.

Now we get it. 

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." 1 John 5:11

 © 2014, J. Brady

"I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Dark Mystery Without An Answer

One of my childhood favorites, Robin Williams, took his own life. A life that brought joy to most of us at some point, could never seem keep that joy alive for himself.  

Depression induced suicide was the lonely culprit and once again we were shockingly reminded of its powerful stronghold on the life it consumes.

I grew up watching this manic man. More than once my friends and I would try and imitate his funny voices and make our own “crazy” Robin Williams like recordings on tape. He just cracked me up. I will never forget his standup routine in the early 80s. My buddy Johnny and I would sneak into his parents living room and pull out that video tape “for adults only” and laugh so hard we were both in tears.

Good Morning Vietnam, Ms. Doubtfire, Mork N Mindy, Cadillac Man, Jumanji, Flubber, Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams…I could go on.  

He was pure greatness.

I have to admit as a Christian that there are a handful of questions in life I can’t pin a neat little scripture verse to or really explain well at all. And as a Believer if you say you don’t have any…well, you’re just not being real or honest with yourself.  

There are many things about this life we just don’t get and this illness is one of them.

Many theologians and those with bigger minds than mine do all they can to write books, preach sermons or talk on radio shows trying provide answers that make sense to these questions. But most of the time they fall short in explaining anything that makes sense to me and leave me back at where I started...

…asking, “Why?”

I don’t personally struggle with depression. Oddly enough, I actually like that feeling of being alone in a crowd – sometimes and only for a brief moment. Sure I have moments of being down and depressed...but not full-blow, life comes-to-a-stop depression.

But I know many of you do. And many of you love and know Jesus too.

Prayer helps some. Scripture helps some. Friends help here and there. Family has it place. Counseling gives you some hope at times. Certain prescription drugs provide relief and for many, abusive substances are used to try and mask the pain for a few minutes at a time.

No matter what is tried, for many, however, that oppressive grip of overwhelming sadness and depression merely comes back in full swing and the cycle starts all over. You can’t move. You don’t feel. You don’t care and worse of all, you can’t explain why.

For Robin Williams this was apparently the deadly thorn in his life.

I don’t have the answer to the mystery of depression. I studied it in school, got a Master’s in Psychology from Baylor and read plenty about it. Yet, I still don’t get it.

I just have to solely rest on my faith and the words of Paul that tell me “then we shall see clearly” as God does and that one day I will see and understand. Evil has its power and it many cases, try as we might, it simply won’t let go.

But in the end, God gets victory, and this too shall be cast into the hell whence it came.

That’s all I know.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:12

© 2014, J. Brady

"I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Today Would Be the Day

This was it. Her body was telling her today would be the day.

For months and weeks she has been emotionally spent. She had done this a few times before. But this time it was different. The end wouldn’t be the same and somehow she had started to accept that as heartbreaking as it would be.

Drained. Sad. Worried. Ashamed. She didn’t intend for this to happen but neither did she intend to end what had been started within her. So many haven’t understood why she didn’t just kill it and be done. Life would go back to normal and this would be over. But she just couldn’t. Something inside was telling her other things.  

At night in her mind she would hear God speaking to her; “It’s going to be alight. I am with you” and “I have a plan for him and he must survive” or “he is my precious creation and you are my precious child…you are both mine and I will never forsake you”. But nothing moved her more when she would often hear him say “I will take care of him, just watch what I do”.

But still she wondered.

“Who would he be? What would he do? Would he be anything like me?” she wondered. “Where would he be taken….America? Australia? England or somewhere here in the homeland? Will he look like my others? Would he ever know me or even want to know me? Would his family despise me? Should I even try and find out after all of this is over as the years go on? Will they truly love and care for him?”

Her mind never stopped.  

“Oh God! Please. I beg of you. If he must be taken away please let it be as you have said!” Often she would sobbingly scream this into her pillow at night. Her thoughts all alone. Her husband and the baby’s father nearby but with few words of his own to say. He too was at a loss. Speechless. This was really happening. His mind spinning with so many uncertainties, pain and fear.

She just couldn’t bear to think about what was about to happen. He would be gone forever.

But he would be alive and today would be the day.

The day when hope and healing begins.

She didn’t even have the stability or mindset to name him that day. Her heart was so heavy and her mind was so numb. Honestly, she was just ready for this all to be over. Her heart was breaking with every minute that passed knowing her days with him were coming to an end. Her belly had moved one final time. Her last lullaby had been sung.

Today would be the day.

It all happened in a flash. Doctors frantically trying to save him and start the life she had promised God she would give him. He was born early and he had to have emergency surgery just to make sure he didn’t die. Even then she heard those soft words telling her “I will take care of him. Just watch what I do.”

She heard the nurses name him “Seong Wook” which means “calm, rising sun”. That made her cry even more. What a perfect name. She was sad that I could not think of it but joyful that God was already making his promises come true. She said a quick prayer that he would be loved and that he would be wise.

She faded out of consciousness as her body was done. Rest consumed her and the weight of the last 8 months finally hit her. Peace. It was over. She had done what she believed was right. What was right for that little boy. Her little boy.

She had given him life and she was and is our little one’s hero. God said He would do the rest because God is God and God is good. And He has help his promise and answered her prayer.  

Our son is Quinn Seong Wook Speers. He is loved and his name means “wise”. He is now 7.

We knew we would one day have a son whose birth we would forever celebrate.

Today would be the day.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb."  Psalm 139:13

(c) 2014 J. Brady Speers

I Say It How I See It and I Make No Bones About It

Friday, May 09, 2014

Look Out...Here's My Response to "Look Up"

Facebook. Remember life without it? Yea, me either and that’s the scary part.

After watching this video earlier this week (almost 33m views now), I honestly was totally convicted and awakened to the reality of the situation; a situation that belongs to you and to me - all of us.

Social media has taken over our lives. Period. End of story. Look around you. I mean, really? This is how it’s all supposed to be? Tweets? For real? Get a life…(oh wait…that mirror I am holding is pointing right back at me and I’m sure my tweeting niece will be glad to call me out on that one…she’s one of my few followers). Some I know have built an entire persona and “life” online with thousands of followers.  Talk about empty. Yet it makes them feel good so I get it...after all I tweet too.

I remember when we traveled to South Korea back in 2008 and riding in the subway. Not one person talked yet everyone was on their phone. I could have been standing there in my Yeti costume (now how many hits would that video get? and yes I do have one) and not one person would have likely even noticed. The silence made the UT library sound like a rave (do they still have those??). 

Our world has gone silent and the irony of it is that it’s all because of our phones. Yea, those things. You, know...the ones we used to use by manually dialing a number that we had memorized (can you imagine?) in order to actually speak directly to, in real time, our close friend. Back then, yea, pre February 4, 2004, the only way to catch up with someone was to actually talk to them or see them face-to-face. Now we don’t even bother using FaceTime to chat on our phones much less call or stop by. Heck, we don’t even spend the three minutes it takes to email anymore. Texting is even becoming rarer as Facebook posts and tweets rule the day.

You can ask my wife. During the NFL season my phone blows up. Not with calls mind you, but with texts, tweets and posts about the game. Really? Yea, that’s way more fun than sitting in a sports bar all together screaming at the TV while nachos fly off our plates. Seriously…stop the madness.  

Facebook. It’s our great, late addiction. One hit and you’re zapped like Josh Hamilton pre IamSecond and like him only Jesus can get you unhooked. Our dependent use of it has happened in just a matter of 10 years and it has taken some deep, long-time, great friendships and made them shallow, infrequent and solely based on apps and technology. Almost pointless if you ask me. If you don’t think so, you’re fooling yourself and will quickly prove me right when you post a comment on this to disagree. Without the drug you wouldn’t even be reading this. Yea, I caught you, looking down right now as you read this didn’t I? Truth hurts, huh? I’ll still give you a warm Olaf like hug though. Just let me go here and give you one real quick... 

Don’t tell me you’re too busy either. I don’t recall the world operating in slow motion before the techno-twins of Facebook and Twitter were shot putted into our world. That’s just an excuse and frankly Facebook gives it to you, just as it has me. Why call when you can skim the latest newsfeed and catch up sitting in your undies? “I don’t need to see or hang out with ____ . I just read their update earlier today. We’re good. Closer than a brother from another mother.”

Truth is for me I am caught in a dilemma. I like Facebook for the most part. I do. I have re-acquainted with old (in my case, I do mean OLD), friends and people from years past and if not for Facebook I might not even know those people still existed. It’s cool to see someone I haven’t physically seen in 10-20 years and watch their lives from afar, keeping up with goings on in nearly all 50 states and various countries around the world.

The opposite truth has a sad reality to it however and that’s what’s been bugging me since I saw that video earlier this week and it’s why I have been oddly silent.  See there are true friends (people I have actually shared some deep aspect of life with in recent times) that I now rarely hear from or actually see. Some just a few miles away but all just 10 digits away. I have some close friends who haven’t hugged or tussled the hair of my kids in long time, years even. Heck I have a few that I have known for decades that haven’t even met my son yet. Yea, the one that’s about to be 7. I could have arranged for that but no need when my Facebook post makes it as if they were right there with me, right?

Too many of our relationships exist for the most part between two screens; theirs and mine. Yea, screens on smart phones. Phones we never use anymore to actually call and say “hey, what you doing right now? Want some coffee? Can we talk? You guys wanna come over? Wanna hit Waffle House  before Fallon?” Smart phones being used by dumb people. Frankly, I wonder if some of my friends would react with caution of a new Amway presentation if I actually called and said any of these things to them. Sadly, just as I have many times myself, they’d probably text me, tweet me or message me “can’t right now but let’s touch base later”. Yea, well…

I almost wished I could relegate Facebook to just news, events and people I just wanna to stay current with, leaving the others to the way it used to be. Sure I like to see the photos of the kids, trips and such, but look at what we have exchange all of that for?Not to mention what we are teaching our kids and the next generation. Holy cow...can you even imagine 20 years from now?

But I can’t say any of this without saying first this: I’m sorry. You know who I am talking to and if you’re in that group and I haven’t called, dropped by, or done my part…my bad. Yea, I suck. I’ve let the Facebook  juju take me down with the rest of society.

In the end it’s about balance people…but apparently we haven’t downloaded Balanced yet, a smart phone app designed to help us with that. Idiocracy is alive and well, isn’t it?

(By the way….Yea, I still blog. Remember those from way back in 2004?)

I’m not even sure the narrow road of fraternal intimacy exists at all anymore but I’m gonna try and find it and if you want to come with me…come on. Sure, we will post about it. Why not? But we will be sharing the juju together when we do and that’s what matters.

Look for my call peeps. I hope you will return it. If not, just don’t comment when I post about you failing to. You’re an addict remember?

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

(c) 2014 J. Brady Speers

I Say It How I See It and I Make No Bones About It

Monday, June 17, 2013

Thanks BJ - For Being My Man in the Mirror

Truth be told, it could have been any one of us.

Any one of us could have been the person with the blowout. Any one of us could have been the people living close by that came out to help. Any one of us could have been the man that stopped his truck to help. And any one of us could have been the reckless teens that ran into them all.
In the blink of a moment, on a Saturday night, evil had its moment - 4 dead, many injured and hundreds of lives changed forever.
Brian Jennings, aka BJ, was an old college friend of mine that died that night. He was the one that stopped to help. He was hilarious, fun loving and a white version of Michael Jackson. He had moves like Jaggar – and now he is gone.
At one time, BJ was a crazy young man like the teens that killed him. He lived it up and was the life of the party. The center of attention and always putting on a show for anyone and everyone that dared to watch.  I remember that BJ too. He was cool – even taught me a few moves I’ve long forgot.
Then he got real with Christ and years later he was dedicated to a life that was centered on loving teens just like him. They were his man in the mirror.
This has weighed heavy on me. Any number of times I could have been those teens that night. I’ve done my share of real dumb, selfish things. Yet other times I’ve just “been standing there” to watch my life flash before my eyes only to be spared in the end. Happened to me the very day this happened to him.
There by the grace of God go I.
Still. In the wake of such a loss our humanness cries out for justice. We are angry. We are hurt. We mourn. Yet, we all know too well, that if Brian had lived through it all, he would have likely been the first to forgive them and find a way to help those kids “get right with Christ”.  
Every one reading this has been “those kids” at one time or another. Now we get the chance to be like BJ for BJ’s sake.
BJ died at the hands of the very type of people he lived to love on.  
So did Jesus…
Talk about the man in the mirror.
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." I Corinthians 13:12
© 2013, J. Brady Speers

“I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."
for details on this tragedy - click here.